Harry Potter – From Page to Screen and Beyond

We’ve been promising you this for ages, and here it is at last – an in-depth discussion of the boy wizard.

Our resident expert Sarah Burrow is joined by special guest Suzie Nockles (last heard in our Hunger Games episode) to assess the sprawling universe that is the Harry Potter phenomenon.

Just what made J.K. Rowling’s books so successful and did their big screen adaptations actually improve on them?  Could the Pottermore website have yet more surprises in store for fans? Hogwarts may have conquered Florida’s theme parks but will it fare as well in Japan? And was Dumbledore gay just because J.K. Rowling says he was?

All this and more, in the latest Impossible Podcast!

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2 thoughts on “Harry Potter – From Page to Screen and Beyond

  1. I’ve never read any of the books, but I’ve seen the films several times. The mirror shard never makes any sense. The camping stuff could have been short but was alright, and the horcrux idea is very clear. The “trace” is never explained and impossible to believe. (Harry doesn’t know what it is a few days before he turns 17?!) The Elder Wand thing is fairly clear but *very* silly as presented in the films. Even Snape and V don’t know that if you disarm someone their wand changes allegiance? B- B- BUT SNAPE TAUGHT DUELING. And the way it happens, Draco disarms D, so the wand should be his, but it’s BURIED with D, so Harry disarms Draco of Draco’s OWN wand, and somehow the Elder Wand changes allegiance to Harry? Some other stuff was confusing too, like where all the Death Eaters and snatchers came from, why the Resurrection Stone couldn’t resurrect Harry yet Harry got resurrected anyway.

    Can’t wait to hear Harry Potter commentaries…!

  2. Thanks for that, Sarah and Suzie – sorry I couldn’t be there for the podcast, but I can leave a few comments now!

    I don’t think there was ever any chance JK would have killed Harry. One of the key themes of the series is the power of sacrificial love to overcome evil and even death (which is wonderfully Christian, without being obviously “religious”). By the end of book 6, I pretty much guessed that the final confrontation would involve Harry willingly going to his death to save everyone else, but that this would be the very thing that would defeat Voldemort.

    One of the things I like about the Harry Potter books is how it draws on the great tradition of children’s literature. It’s basically T H White’s The Once and Future King meets Enid Blyton’s school stories with a bit of Narnia and Lord of the Rings thrown in. But it still succeeds in telling a great story in its own right.

    I think if anything the series could have done with breaking its own formula a bit more by the end. I’d also have liked to seen more impact on the Muggle world. If the entire UK population of wizards goes to one school, then taking over the wizarding world is the equivalent of ruling a small town. If Voldemort had killed the Prime Minister and declared himself ruler of Britain, leading to a magic vs technology battle between wizards and humans, that would have been really cool. Harry would not only have had to defeat Voldemort, but reconcile the magical and Muggle worlds. To give space for this, I’d have killed Dumbledore at the end of book 5, and had Voldemort take open control of the wizarding world including Hogwarts at the end of book 6… but now I’m rewriting the whole series, which is probably tantamount to blasphemy to fans as big as you two!

    Thanks for the comments Derek… I’ll leave the explanations of the plot details to the experts ;-) Harry Potter commentaries are a good idea – a bit longer than Doctor Who episodes, but something we’ll consider!

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